TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – After 12 years serving Kansans on their highest court, Justice Lee Johnson announced he will retire September 8.
The Supreme Court judge made the announcement Wednesday morning. His departure also opens current Governor Laura Kelly to appoint a nominee to fill his vacant seat at the Supreme Court.
A nine-member nominating committee will recommend a selection of lawyers for the governor to choose from, in accordance with the Kansas Constitution. The nominees must be at least 30 years old and admitted to practice law in the state.
Johnson shared his gratitude to two former governors who were responsible for his appointment first to the Kansas Court of Appeals, and then the state’s Supreme Court.
“I particularly thank Governors Bill Graves and Kathleen Sebelius for taking a chance on a small-town lawyer,” Johnson said. “I will miss having the opportunity to interact with all of the fine people in the judicial branch.”
Johnson grew up in Caldwell and graduated from the Washburn University School of Law. He also served as a city attorney for Caldwell, Argonia and Hunnewell.